A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Flu, pneumonia are 8th largest U.S. cause of death; everyone over six months should get flu shot

Flu and pneumonia, which can result from flu, are 8th largest U.S. cause of death; officials urge all over 6 months to get flu shot Flu season is here and will last through February or longer, prompting state health officials to encourage Kentuckians to get their flu vaccinations. “During the holidays families and friends will gather, which increases the potential for exposure to the flu virus,”...

UK researchers analyze prices of various chocolates, purchasing preferences (it’s good for you!)

The holiday season is a time when many people think of buying, purchasing and consuming chocolate. A recent study by researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment analyzed the prices of various chocolates along with consumer willingness to pay for them. “We wanted to gain a deeper understanding behind pricing and purchasing actions in the chocolate industry,”...

St. Elizabeth Healthcare celebrates five years of participation in Mayo Clinic Care Network

NKyTribune staff Representatives from the Mayo Clinic met with officials from St. Elizabeth Healthcare this week as the five-year anniversary of St. E’s participation in the Mayo Clinic Care Network nears. St. Elizabeth Healthcare CEO Garren Colvin, Dr. Mark Larson, medical director Midwest region, Mayo Clinic Care Network and Dr. Robert Prichard, CEO St. Elizabeth Physicians were among those...

USDA halts program to reduce salt in school lunches; experts says sale levels ‘dangerously high’

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service has announced that it’s halting an Obama-era plan to gradually reduce the amount of salt in school lunches each year. But the new plan would keep current sodium level targets unchanged through 2019. “Those targets are currently not more than 1,230 mg per meal for elementary, 1,360mg for middle and 1,420 mg for high schools,”...

Open enrollment for health insurance ends Dec. 15; check out options even if re-enrollment is automatic

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News This is the first year that more than 80,000 Kentuckians with a 2017 health insurance plan on the federal exchange will be automatically re-enrolled in a 2018 marketplace plan. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t check out other options before open enrollment ends Dec. 15. “People should not automatically assume that they are going to get re-enrolled...

The Opioid Files: More than 100 states and cities are suing drug companies for role in epidemic

By Mattie Quinn Governing Magazine A few years ago, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood was worried about a friend’s son who served two tours in Iraq. After being injured overseas, he became dependent on prescription painkillers and eventually developed a heroin addiction. But then, his friend’s son got into law school and showed signs of sobriety, so Hood offered him an internship in his...

SmartHealthToday: Offer a healing hand to a loved one with cancer this holiday; little things count

By Kristen Mees SmartHealthToday If you know someone who has recently received a cancer diagnosis, you may be wondering how you can help them this holiday season. Often just a small gesture and a helping hand can mean a lot to someone dealing with cancer. Shayna Hamilton, RN, MSM, CMSRN, Nurse Manager at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Cancer Care Center, says, “One of the biggest concerns for patients...

Nearly 2.8 million have signed up for health insurance through healthcare.gov; deadline December 15

Nearly 2.8 million people signed up for health insurance coverage through the federal healthcare.gov website during the first 25 days of Obamacare’s open enrollment, but the rate of sign-ups appears to have slowed, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The fourth week resulted in an increase of 504,181 sign-ups for plans, compared with the third week, when 798,829...

Many Kentuckians with Obamacare plans received premium notices that over-estimated costs for 2018

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News With a shortened enrollment period, huge cuts in advertising and in-person assistance, and ongoing efforts to repeal and replace the federal health law, it’s no wonder many Americans are confused about whether they can or should sign up for health coverage on government marketplaces this year. Perhaps the most basic facts are these: The Patient Protection...

CHSS: Walking is region’s most popular physical activity; too many of us just sit for hours a day

For the 2017 Community Health Status Survey (CHSS), sponsored by Interact for Health, area adults were asked to name their favorite physical activity. Walking was mentioned most often, by 3 in 10 adults (31 percent). “Being physically active is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health. Walking can be an easy way to increase physical activity, because it does not require...

SmartHealthToday: First, eat breakfast; second, it’s never too late to make changes for good health

By Kristen Mees SmartHealthToday Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — right? Everyone has read articles that say eating breakfast can help you lose weight, give you energy for the day, or help you focus more in school. Now, the American College of Cardiology released a study that provides evidence that skipping breakfast has a direct correlation to hardening of the arteries. The...

SmartHealthToday: Difference between Alzheimer’s, dementia — Alzheimer’s is a specific disease

By Kristen Mees SmartHealthToday Many times you hear people use Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably, but they are not the same. Dementia is a description of a group of symptoms, while Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Many diseases or conditions can cause dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common — with 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases due to Alzheimer’s. “Dementia is a word used...

Stress doesn’t take a holiday; don’t let it sap the joy out of the season for you

Stress doesn’t take holidays off. In fact, the opposite is often true: Stress saps the joy out of the season for too many people. Stress is manifest in many forms of poor health or bad lifestyle habits during the holidays, when people typically put a long list of errands, shopping, baking and parties ahead of being good to their own bodies. They might get sick as a result – or expedite a path to...

Department of Public Health declares outbreak of acute hepatitis A — cases found in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has declared an outbreak of acute hepatitis A with cases in multiple counties in Kentucky.    In total, 31 cases of acute (rapid onset with symptoms of illness) Hepatitis A  have been reported throughout Kentucky in 2017, a 50 percent increase above the average of 20 cases per year reported over the past 10 years.  Jefferson County has had 19 confirmed...

St. Elizabeth Healthcare donates $250,000 to NaviGo College and Career Prep Services to grow programs

St. Elizabeth Healthcare will invest $250,000 toward NaviGo College and Career Prep Services, a division of Children, Inc. Colvin NaviGo, powered by St. Elizabeth Healthcare, will help grow the overall mission of NaviGo programs. NaviGo connects high school students with NaviGo coaches, and has a mission to empower for life beyond high school. “Our vision of becoming one of the healthiest communities...